Life Staff Weapon Guide and Builds in New World

Last updated on Mar 10, 2022 at 14:37 by SnugglyBear 8 comments

Using a range of various healing abilities and protective buffs, the Life Staff offers unparalleled supportive capabilities. The primary healer weapon in the game it is a must have for all content.

1.

What is Life Staff Good For?

Life Staff is the only healer-specific weapon in the game at the moment. As such, taking up the mantle of a Life Staff user tends to shoehorn you into being the de facto Healer/Support role. As with healing in most other games, utilizing the Life Staff often will not get you anywhere quickly when you are playing solo. However, it is a fantastic boon and is essential for group-play, be it PvE or PvP.

2.

What is Life Staff Not So Good For?

Life Staff has lackluster damage and no real options in terms of additional damage abilities. As such you are going to need to rely on a secondary weapon or your allies to do a lot of the damage in most situations.

3.

Skills

Abilities come from having the appropriate points in your skill tree. They are as follows.

  • Divine Embrace Divine Embrace — 25 mana, 6s CD: Heals target player for 120% weapon damage.
    • Privilege Privilege — Divine Embrace costs 20 mana.
    • Shared Struggle Shared Struggle — If the target of your Divine Embrace is below 50% health heal one additional ally within 8m for the same amount.
    • Rebound Rebound — If the ally healed by Shared Struggle Shared Struggle is below 50% health, heal another ally within 8m of that ally.

Summary: Divine Embrace Divine Embrace can hypothetically pack a huge amount of HPS, providing 360% of weapon damage every 6 seconds. Divine Embrace has several issues causing it to be typically unfavoured in endgame content: the somewhat clunky and long cast time, the lack of ability to regularly utilize the Shared Struggle Shared Struggle (and by extension Rebound Rebound), and the skill Light's Embrace Light's Embrace, which typically outperforms Divine Embrace in most situations. It is also worth noting that the mana cost is very high for Divine Embrace, however mana costs do not often come up.

  • Sacred Ground Sacred Ground — 15 Mana, 20s CD: Create an area on the ground with a 3m radius that lasts for 12s. Allies in the area are healed for 16% weapon damage every second.
    • Holy Ground Holy Ground — Regenerate stamina and mana 50% faster when in sacred ground. (Applies to allies too)
    • Blessed Blessed — While allies are in Sacred Ground they are healed for 50% more from ALL healing.

Summary: Sacred Ground Sacred Ground is a very important ability and very quickly becomes the bread and butter of your kit, due to the power of it. It is a fairly long lasting ground effect, healing for a decent amount on a very regular basis. Allies inside the Sacred Ground will benefit from Blessed, resulting in additional healing to be taken and often resulting in allies being very tough to kill while within the zone. There is no cap on the number of players that can be healed by Sacred Ground, as such in larger or stacked battles its value starts to increase exponentially. It is important to know that Sacred Ground does not overlap, instead people within the radius are healed by the most recently put down one, ensure your Sacred Ground is not on top of another players and is instead spread out, to maximize coverage.

  • Splash of Light Splash of Light — 15 mana, 15s CD: You and all group members within 100m are healed for 60% weapon damage.
    • Shared Recovery Shared Recovery — For each ally healed that is below 50% health, you gain 5% of your max mana.
    • Purify Purify — Splash of Light removes 1 debuff when it HEALS an ally.

Summary: Splash of Light Splash of Light tends to have very neiche uses, largely stemming from its use as a group—wide debuff removal. The overall throughput is pretty solid, resulting in 300% weapon damage per use, however in my typical experience it often overheals, taking a somewhat long windup. There is scenarios that you may want to pick this skill up, however in general I believe there is just better choices in the majority of situations. Worth noting, this does not require line of sight to party members.

  • Orb of Protection Orb of Protection — 16 Mana, 10s CD: Shoot out a light projectile that grants 10% fortify, heals an ally got 10% weapon damage, and deals 146% weapon damage when it hits an enemy.
    • Protector's Blessing Protector's Blessing — If Orb of Protecion hits an ally, they gain Recovery for 10 seconds (Recovery heals for 6% Weapon damage per second).
    • Shared Protection Shared Protection — If you sucessfully heal an ally with orb of protection, you also gain fortify and recovery.
    • Aegis Aegis — When this projectile hits, it effects all allies within a 3m radius.

Summary: Orb of Protection Orb of Protection is one of strongest and most valuable tools we have in our arsenal. The way Orb works, it shoots an orb out, healing anyone it passes through and applying a HoT to them, it stops once it hits an enemy target however, as such it can be 'body blocked'. The healing can be quite potent totalling at 10% weapon damage initially, 60% over 10 seconds, to every ally it passes through, however the power in Orb is the 10% Fortify that it applies, lasting for 20 seconds while being on a 10 second cooldown allows for very high uptime across your allies. Fortify effectively adds 10% extra health to your teammates making one-shots survivable. Aegis beings to shine if you are very worried about several people getting caught in, a Gravity Well Gravity Well, or similar effect. On demand applications of fortify can and often does keep them alive. Generally very valuable in most situations.

  • Beacon Beacon — 16 Mana 35s CD: Shoot out a light projectile that deals 146% weapon damage to enemies, attaches to its target and heals all nearby allies for 16% weapon damage each second for 10s.

Summary: Beacon Beacon has a very long cooldown, however it is a very, very potent skill. You shoot a projectile and whatever it first touches (Ally, enemy, floor, wall, ect) it sticks to and will pulse out healing, moving with whatever it is stuck to. Pushing around 240% weapon damage per person in the AoE, per cast(Over the full duration). Although not bursty or upfront healing, it is a healing throughput monster and can be used in a huge number of unconventional ways. It can heal through walls, around Line of Sight, it can be shoved on an ally as they charge into the fray (Very potent if you are playing with Speed of Light Speed of Light, helping some very powerful engages) or on an enemy to help negate the damage they do, even onto a wall just to heal allies on the other side. You can be creative with how you utilize this.

  • Light's Embrace Light's Embrace — 18 Mana 4s CD: Heal target for 80% weapon damage +30% more for each buff on that target.
    • Inspire Inspire — When you heal a target with Light's Embrace, that target gains 25 stamina.
    • Connection Connection — When you heal a target with Light's Embrace Light's Embrace, gain 2% of your max mana for each buff your target has.
    • Magnify Magnify — When you heal a target with Light's Embrace, extend the duration of life staff buffs on that target by 2s.

Summary: Light's Embrace Light's Embrace is an extremely strong single target heal, that will consistently top off anyone it is used on. It will almost always outpace Divine Embrace Divine Embrace on single target healing. It typically does not need any additional skills to support it. Mana does not tend to be an issue. Inspire Inspire is one of the more powerful options in PvE, where tank survival can be directly linked to Stamina, however is not always the case. As Light's Embrace scales with buffs on the target, it is very easy for many players to have 6 or more buffs from food to honing stones, party buffs, weapon buffs and more. A short cooldown and huge healing numbers allow this to be one of the strongest competitive choices. Be warned, there is a short delay between the cast and the heal, it can be tough to get used to at first.

Now they are out the way, lets break down the rest of the skill tree.

3.1.

Healing Tree

  • Absolved Absolved — Must have, largely down to unlocking Blissful Touch Blissful Touch however not needing to spend mana to attack is invaluable.
  • Mending Touch Mending Touch — Very good option, its use does tend to be limited as you need to line up the heavy attacks to hit as debuffs are applied, however it can be and often is needed. When this is good it is great and never a talent point that is wasted, as long as you can make the best of it.
  • Blissful Touch Blissful Touch — Your main filler when abilities are on cooldown tends to be light attacks, in order to lower cooldowns from revitalize, as such, you naturally play into this Blissful Touch playstyle of light attacking through your allies to heal them all. Similar to Orb of Protection Orb of Protection, the attack only goes until it hits an enemy, as such it will not heal anyone behind.
  • Desperate Speed Desperate Speed — Due to Blissful Touch Blissful Touch and the abundance of regular healing that comes out (HoT effects included) Desperate Speed can trigger on a very very regular basis, effectively adding a huge amount of throughput as long as you are keeping active.
  • Revitalize Revitalize — Amazing skill I would never go without, manaless attacks and cooldown reduction mean that you should actively look to get value out of this ability, heavily increasing uptime of all of your main abilities. Unfortunately it only works with light attacks.
  • Enchanted Justice Enchanted Justice — This tends to be one of the more, awkward, skills to get value out of. Very long cooldown, minimally controlable healing that will often overheal. Overall it is fine but nothing too special. It will often proc from poke or other random assorted damage.
  • Sacred Protection Sacred Protection — Bonus healing, no hoops to jump through, worth noting, it is a buff that counts for Lights Embrace.
  • Intensify Intensify — The lack of synergy with Revitalize Revitalize is really unfortunate. If you take intensify, you should only be heavy attacking to refresh or bring up the buff, every 10 (or 12 with 200 Focus) seconds.
  • Divine Blessing Divine Blessing — More healing, especially on people closer to death (The players most needing the healing) The main drawback on this skill is requiring 10 skills in the tree to unlock it, meaning it is not always an applicable option, however it does provide a lot of additional healing.
3.2.

Protector Tree

  • Bend Light Bend Light — Duration is increased by the focus however it is currently bugged, if you dodge while you have already got the buff, it only increases the duration by 2 seconds, as opposed to fully refreshing the buff, as such it is sometimes awkward to maintain. Bend Light's real strength is in Medium/Heavy armour as the dodge animation is a lot faster, whereas the light dodge takes quite some time to fully complete.
  • Defensive Light Defensive Light — It is pretty bad, additional mana is rarely needed, blocking is often awkward and not something you end up doing too often, as such getting value from this is very tough.
  • Protector's Touch Protector's Touch — We are already filling every possible second we are not using an ability with light attacks for Blissful Touch Blissful Touch and Revitalize or Heavies for Mending Touch and Intensify leaning to a HUGE uptime on the fortify buffs. Very very good if you are expecting to take regular damage and allows you to frontline really well.
  • Protector's Strength Protector's Strength — You are pretty much never without a buff, so this is a free 10% bonus healing. Never leave home without this skill.
  • Balance Balance — Being low on health is when you wanna try to get a way, running faster when you get low. Really handy to have in your back pocket if you are worried about people chasing you or generally getting on top of you and causing chaos.
  • Spirits United Spirits United — Mana Regeneration does not really do much for us, as mana potions are so prolific. However this is another party wide buff that counts for Light's Embrace, so often is worth picking up if you are taking Light's Embrace.
  • Glowing Focus Glowing Focus — Intensify, Fortify, Recovery and all the other buffs lasting longer, double dipping with the 200 Focus bonus and allowing a really high uptime on effects like fortify and recovery.
4.

Attributes

Other than Focus and Constitution, the other attributes do nothing for us directly, however there can be corner-cases that you want to take a small amount of other stats to benefit your secondary weapon. For the most part you want to modify your attribute distribution based on the content that you are doing and what is needed.

Are you in a PvE situation with a tank capable of holding all the aggro? Forgo most of your Constitution in favour of Focus to increase your damage/healing.

Are you in a more PvP orientated situation of which you need to be concerned for your health? Taking a sizeable amount of Constitution to avoid being one-shot is likely in that scenario.

While you should vary your attribute distribution based on the expected content, in wars and larger PvP scenarios. You should look to almost always 200 Constitution for Medium/Heavy armour, due to the increased armour, while you can go for less Constitution with lights builds serious caution needs to be taken.

For your other weapon, for the most part use a Cut Amber gem in it. This allows it to scale with Focus, giving you quite reasonable option for damage.

5.

Armour Classes

Light, provides the most raw healing, giving a 30% healing increase. Medium with 15% and heavy with no healing bonus, however, of course, heavy and medium grant much higher survivability, so it is always a balancing act. The safest, general purpose armour would be Medium/Heavy for very strong survivability, this does come at the cost of mobility however.

In order to get the very best out of medium or light armour, I recommend this short post giving a rough note to get the most out of your armour weight.

6.

Perks

Perks are found on armour and weapons, there is 6 specific Life Staff perks and a magnitude of others with varied uses.

  • Refreshing Divine Embrace Refreshing Divine Embrace — Reduces the cooldown of Divine Embrace if it heals someone below 50%, this naturally synergizes with the Divine Embrace, however it is not always the easiest skill to get the most out of. As per the discussion point over Divine Embrace Divine Embrace. If you are actively using Divine Embrace Divine Embrace Refreshing Divine Embrace Refreshing Divine Embrace is a must have.
  • Fortifying Sacred Ground Fortifying Sacred Ground — Must have, I would never leave home without having this on a piece of gear (Unless you happen to be not playing Sacred Ground Sacred Ground) This provides fortify on your heals, causing anyone standing in Sacred Ground Sacred Ground to be so much more difficult to kill, enabling it to be put down in response to Gravity Well Gravity Well or a similar ability to save lives by adding effective HP (With the damage reduction)
  • Energizing Splash Of Light Energizing Splash Of Light — Stamina back to allies hit by Splash of Light Splash of Light, overall very average, if you are playing Splash of Light Splash of Light, this perk is not useless but it has very few and far between uses, so I would not actively seek it out unless you have a specific reason or special role.
  • Mending Protection Mending Protection — If you are playing with Orb of Protection Orb of Protection, seek out Mending Protection Mending Protection, fairly high uptime on the buff, very high healing increase that effects all healing. Very very strong perk, this perk can proc from the Recovery healing over time effect, as such you should.
  • Accelerating Light's Embrace Accelerating Light's Embrace — Granting move speed to people you use your main single target heal on is pretty solid, you tend to want to use Light's Embrace Light's Embrace on someone close to death, this perk will give your priority targets an easier way to escape. In a pinch, this armour perk can be used to just grant haste, enabling a strong flanker to engage.
  • Revitalizing Beacon Revitalizing Beacon — Very very handy, increasing self-healing after using beacon allows Health Potions to top you up entirely, positively effects the self-applied Recovery from the Orb of Protection Orb of Protection skill. When this perk is used in combination with heavy armour, you will often find yourself becoming almost unkillable at times. Regardless of armour, this perk really helps in keeping you alive.

Outwith these prioritization for additional healing would be the Refreshing perks, in addition other suriviability perks are highly valued. The most important ones to look out for are Sacred (Only on the ring) and Blessed (On your Life Staff)

7.

PvE

  • Levelling/Open World — Low damage makes killing mobs take quite some time, if you are looking for optimal levelling, you are almost always better doing it in a group. However if focusing on solo levelling, being able to use Orb or Beacon, as they can provide a very small DPS increase. Being able to put down Sacred Ground or Beacon allows self-healing if you swap over to another, higher damage weapon. If you are playing with a group
  • Invasions — Primarily in invasions your goal is just to ensure your team mates stay alive. When you are not needed to heal, and swap to your dps weapon and focus on killing the mobs, Great Axe tends to be the preferable weapon as Gravity Well can be used to halt Brutes, Spriggans and in a pinch, can be used to catch several bombers. Invasions also allow access to fort weaponry, that can be utilized for a ton more damage and to shred both bosses and the corrupted siege weapons.
8.

PvP

Wars — Wars are the primary form of endgame PvP. With 50 players on each side, Life Staves become some of the most important weapons, it normally results in you being focused or needing to rely on your team to survive. Your Tankiness/Armour will generally determine where you are safe to stand. If you are a light armour healer, you are going to try to keep around the back and around bruisers that are able to peel for you. Medium healers are able to be closer to the front line and have a lot more survivability due to their armour. Heavy armour healers on the other hand are able survive an onslaught of damage, relying on powerful self-healing and tend to be assigned stationary roles. For the most part your goal will be to keep your party and the people within your warteam alive. As these are the main priorities typically AoE healing is favoured, however, dependant on situation it may be a strong idea to take some single target target healing, specifically Light's Embrace in order to combat burst damage on your high-value targets. Being behind your teammates, in the backline, will also allow best use of your Mending Touch and Orb of protection skills, if you are talented into them.

9.

Weapon combinations and Mastery Trees

You should always adapt your skills on a scenario by scenario basis. Here are some very strong builds to get you off the ground.

9.1.

Example Healing Mastery Trees

  • High AoE healing (best picked as a light healer in wars)
  • Light's Embrace cleave (strong for PvP/PvE priority healing)
  • Protection build (priority on the combination of Fortify/Recovery from Orb to increase Light's Embrace)
  • PvE Tank — Focused healer (priority on big single target healing, very spikey and closer to a traditional healer from other MMO games):
9.2.

Weapon Combinations

  • Sword and Shield — Only really useful as a heavy armour healer, however bringing Leadership as a party wide buff is often one of the most impactful buffs in the game, due to shield weight it is not easily usable outside of a heavy build. Provides often unparalleled survivability however Sword needs to be the active weapon for those perks to take effect, resulting in less uptime of your Life Staff.
  • Rapier — Currently the strongest choice as a defensive weapon for PvP, Fleche, Evade and Riposte allow the user to become uncatchable and highly elusive. An ideal choice if you want to live longer or you are worried about being collapsed on by several opponents. Does not quite provide as much damage as other options, as such often somewhat behind in PvE situations.
  • War Hammer — Very potent defensive option, a lot of CC and access to rend via the Sundering Shockwave perk. Clear out allows you to push enemies out of position and take control of points in PvP situations. Overall a very strong choice in most content, however it does lack mobility and require you to be melee.
  • Spear — Vault kick is one of the few CC capable of stunning someone with grit making it very strong in PvP, combined with knock down from sweep. Spear also has some very strong PvE options, primarily Perforate and its application of rend. Overall it is a very strong option with a variety of options and a strong consideration.
  • Hatchet — High mobility from Berserk, and Social Distancing, strong survivability from Defy Death making it a very strong choice for survivability in PvP situations. Raging Torrent and Rending Throw grant a lot of damage potential in PvE situations. Typically weaker than Rapier in raw survivability however a very strong choice in most content.
  • Great Axe — Charge allows you to get out of most situations, as well as initiate on most fights. Gravity Well often is the bane of players that are too grouped, Reap allows you to pull players back into your team and run down escaping enemies. If you are willing to dismiss some defensive options for a more aggressive playstyle Axe is a very strong compliment. In PvE Great Axe provides solid additional damage, Overall a very aggressive option with high upside from the utility it offers.
  • Fire Staff — Some meaningful damage, Burn out provides high mobility however. It can be useful angry earth instances as fire deals extra damage (Such as Garden of Genesis). Overall I don not recommend it, however there may be scenarios that you find it to be useful.
  • Bow — Overall weak with Life Staff, generally not worth taking over other options.
  • Musket — Fringe scenarios can come up making Musket very useful however generally it is not worth taking other options.
  • Ice Gauntlet — Lots of CC from Ice Shower and some defensive options. Some reasonable damage and utility. In PvP you can peel and keep yourself safe with the CC, however you will be lacking any mobility. In PvE you can provide solid damage to supplement your group. Overall an average choice with various niche uses.
  • Void Gauntlet — Short range, on demand CC from Petrifying Scream is very strong and can often be used to catch out of position players. Access to additional HoT effects from Orb of Decay or Essence Rupture. Bonus group damage from Oblivion and powerful damage from Void Blade. Void Gauntlet is also the only other weapon to scale with Focus, making it a natural compliment with your Life Staff. It does lack mobility, however it has a ton of other options within the skill tree, as such it is often the strongest choice in many scenarios and a very very potent weapon to have as your secondary. It is also possible to run a cut Diamond gem on it, in order to get the most out of the additional healing from Orb/Essence Rupture.
10.

Mana and Healing Meters

New world is not too like other games that use mana to restrict healing. The accessibility of mana potions and focus potions, combined with mana costs not being overwhelming allows for a disregard for mana in and around endgame content, My recommendation is to drink a lot of mana potions in challenging content, if you have got any concerns. Outside of wars and any other difficult endgame content mana potions are still useful as they allow high uptimes but you can cut costs by liberally using lower rank mana potions (or whatever is the cheapest on your Trading Post).

I feel it pertinent to mention as it is very difficult to judge performance by any easy-to-access metrics, the easiest thing to point to is the raw healing numbers. At the end of Wars specifically, your healing will be displayed on the leaderboard. Typically higher healing is better but often the healing meters do not tell the real story. It is often okay to have lower healing numbers for more impactful healing, be it pocket-healing flankers or any of the other scenarios.

11.

Pointers, Tips, Tricks, and Notes

  • The passives (Sacred Protection Sacred Protection, Protector's Strength Protector's Strength, ect) only apply while your life staff is out.
  • Mending Protection Mending Protection can proc from the recovery heal left on allies.
  • Stacks of Intensify Intensify drop when you swap weapons, as does Enchanted Justice Enchanted Justice
  • Sacred Ground Sacred Ground, Beacon Beacon, the recovery from Orb of Protection Orb of Protection all persist through weapon swaps, on allies and yourself.
  • Fortifying Sacred Ground Fortifying Sacred Ground does not apply fortify unless it heals players, so using it on already full health people will not apply fortify.
  • Light's Embrace Light's Embrace, does not extend duration of Beacon on target.
  • Critical chance can affect the direct heal of Light's Embrace Light's Embrace and Divine Embrace, however it does not affect any of the AoE heals.
  • Blessed Blessed (Skill) effects personal health potions, increasing the effectiveness of them, allowing you to, in a pinch, self-heal a very large quantity of health
  • Focus increases your weapon damage, pressing K (default binding) and checking the attributes with your life staff equipped, will show you the current weapon damage with modifiers.
  • 200 Focus will increase the duration of buffs you cast. This affects Fortify and Recovery from Orb of Protection Orb of Protection, Intensify Intensify, Balance Balance, Protector's Touch Protector's Touch, Bend Light Bend Light and Speed of Light Speed of Light.
  • Orb of Protection Orb of Protection and Beacon Beacon can be used just after using an attack to minimize the downtime between attacks.
  • Aegis Aegis lingers for a very short time, so someone not initially hit by the burst can still get the heal, recovery and fortify effect by rapidly moving into the area
  • Cut Amber Gems makes your secondary scale with Focus, as such using it in another weapon can and often does provide a substantive amount of damage.
  • Shared Struggle Shared Struggle and Rebound Rebound will prioritise the closest injured target regardless of their health. As such rebound can (And often does) heal the initial Divine Embrace target.
12.

Changelog

  • 10 Mar. 2022: Updates of the new guide.
  • 07 Feb. 2022: Rewrite of guide by new author.
  • 19 Nov. 2021: Added link to Patch 1.1 Life Staff changes.
  • 28 Sep. 2021: Guide added.
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